Woman's festive costume

From Mariovo district, near Bitola, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Early 20th century AD

The traditional costumes from Bitola and the surrounding area incorporate a large number of garments in each outfit. A complete bride's costume from the region could weigh up to 50 kg. This costume has nine elements. It is sleeveless, with separate fringed upper-arm sleeves. Knitted lower sleeves would also have been worn. Beneath the coat is a 10.5 metre sash.

Mary Edith Durham, a writer on the region who collected a very similar costume in 1903, observed: 'The body over the shirt is girthed with a hempen cord, wound round and round, and with the end twisted up in front. It forms a stiff and cumbrous sort of corset. The women declared they could not stand up without it.'

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More information


E.I. Dunin, Dance occasions and festive dr (Los Angeles, University of California Museum of Cultural History, Monograph Series no. 23, 1984)


Museum number

AOA 1993.Eu7.11-18


Collected by Dr Diane Waller
Funded by The British Museum Friends (Eastern European Purchase Fund)


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